The dramatics on the field last year and the improvements off of it were enough to earn Major League Baseball the Sports League of the Year Award on Wednesday night at the fifth annual Sports Business Awards presented by SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily.
The award, which was accepted by Commissioner Bud Selig on behalf of the league, was a result of baseball's all-around success in 2011.
On the field, the 2011 World Series produced a 19-percent increase in television ratings from the previous Fall Classic. Off the field, MLB turned in its ninth straight year of record revenues, bringing in more than $7 billion during the fifth-best-attended season in its history.
The introduction of the MLB Fan Cave in 2011 also contributed to the award-winning year. The Fan Cave itself was recognized at the ceremony as the Best in Sports Event and Experiential Marketing.
Now in its second season, the Fan Cave has hosted more than 220 celebrities, 90 current big leaguers, two dozen concerts and has generated more than 400 videos to circulate on social media sites.
Last year, the National Hockey League took home the hardware for Sports League of the Year.
Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.